The Wanderer

Sharon Creech, Author, David Diaz, Illustrator Joanna Cotler Books $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-027730-7
Like Creech's Walk Two Moons and Chasing Redbird, this intimate novel poetically connects journey with self-discovery. When 13-year-old Sophie learns that her three uncles and two male cousins plan to sail across the Atlantic to visit the uncles' father, Bompie, in England, she begs to go along. Despite her mother's protests and the men's misgivings, Sophie joins the ""motley"" crew of the 45-foot The Wanderer and soon proves herself a worthy sailor. The novel unfolds through travel logs, predominantly penned by Sophie (with intermittent musings from her clownish cousin, Cody) that trace each leg of the eventful voyage; each opens with a handsome woodblock-like print by Diaz (Smoky Night). The teens' insightful observations reveal the frailties of both the boat and its six passengers, whose fears and regrets anchor them down. Sophie, who was adopted just three years ago, proves the most complicated and mysterious of all the characters; her ambivalent feelings about the sea (""The sea, the sea, the sea. It rolled and rolled and called to me... but some said I was too young and the sea was a dangerous temptress..."") correlate to a repressed memory of a tragic accident. Stories Sophie tells about Bompie, as well as clever throwaway bits (such as the brothers' given names: Ulysses, Jonah and Moses), temper the novel's more serious undercurrents. Creech once again captures the ebb and flow of a vulnerable teen's emotional life, in this enticing blend of adventure and reflection. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
Genre: Children's
Mass Market Paperbound - 285 pages - 978-0-06-076673-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 304 pages - 978-0-06-178695-2
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-178693-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-8390-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-06-441032-8
Hardcover - 296 pages - 978-0-7862-4125-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-1713-9
Prebound-Glued - 305 pages - 978-0-606-24575-3
Prebound-Glued - 305 pages - 978-0-7569-1111-9
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-307-58214-0
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-178697-6
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-06-027731-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-8072-8243-4
Ebook - 978-0-330-46362-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4176-3728-7
Prebound-Other - 235 pages - 978-0-606-29576-5
Paperback - 296 pages - 978-0-7862-6186-4
Prebound-Glued - 304 pages - 978-0-613-49702-2
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-197252-2
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